Do you want to know the various difference between Java and Kotlin? This blog will explain Java vs Kotlin in a better way.
If you are a mobile app developer, Java is probably your favourite language for building Android applications. But several new languages are popping up everywhere that might challenge Java’s dominance in the Android world.
One of them is Kotlin, a relatively new programming language, already announced by Google as a “first-class” language supported on Android.
Kotlin is continuously evolving and enhancing. It is now viewed as a mature ecosystem of frameworks, libraries, and tools, and its demand is growing quickly, especially in mobile application development.
Before discussing Java vs Kotlin, let’s see what are Java and Kotlin and their pros and cons.
What is Java?
Java is an object-oriented high-level programming language created by James Gosling. It can create any type of program and support almost every operating system, such as Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and Android.
Java is one of those languages that has the largest global communities. This language is very important in both the Internet and the computer field. Java can be used to do almost anything. Several digital services and new innovative products that are designed for the future rely on Java programming.
Moreover, Java is completely free to download and can be used by anyone in the world. It is one of the safest, powerful and universal programming languages. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of Java which will help you to understand Java vs Kotlin better.
Pros of Java
- Java is easy to learn and understand.
- Works great for native as well as cross-platform apps.
- Since Android is built on Java itself, there are a lot of Java libraries to help you. Moreover, Java has a wide open-source ecosystem.
- Java apps are even lighter and more compact than The Kotlin Apps, resulting in a faster app experience.
- Object-Oriented Programming language
- Java support multithreading.
- Fewer security risks
- Java is platform-independent and supports WORA(write once run anywhere)
- Java supports the development of distributed object-based applications.
Cons of Java
- Java developers have to write lengthy codes, increasing errors and bugs.
- Java experiences some problems with Android API design due to inherent limitations.
- Java requires more memory than other languages and therefore slows down.
Future Scope in Java
As a career for Java developers/programmers, anyone can consider the following job roles.
- Web developer
- Application developer
- EJB programmer
- Software developer
- Graphic designer
- A professional teacher in Java
What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a general-purpose and open-source programming language. It combines the features of functional and object-oriented programming. Kotlin is free and statically typed and was mainly designed for Java Virtual Machine and Android.
Kotlin project was initiated at JetBrains company in 2010. Kotlin 1.0 was first released in February 2016. JetBrains utilizes Kotlin language in its several products, including IntelliJ IDEA.
Pros of Kotlin
- Kotlin is fast to write and, therefore, is very much liked by developers. If it takes 50 lines of code in Java, it takes only 1-2 lines in Kotlin. This also means that there are many fewer errors and bugs.
- Kotlin aids in building a clean API.
- Kotlin provides null safety feature support that is very useful in Android application development.
- Kotlin offers understandable and user-friendly coding standards.
- The deployment and maintenance of Kotlin code are very easy.
- The Anko library for Kotlin is very helpful for developers. It has a very active and detailed collection of projects on Github.
Cons of Kotlin
- Kotlin shows a slower compilation speed than Java in most cases.
- The Kotlin community is still young, and learning resources are limited, so finding answers to problems can be difficult. However, resources and community will expand in time with its growing popularity.
- Since Kotlin is still new, finding experienced developers who can act as mentors for your team can be a bit difficult. Everyone is still learning and experiencing it.
- Although we can replace Java with Kotlin, Java developers can’t easily switch from Java to Kotlin without proper knowledge of Kotlin programming.
Java to Kotlin Story
Kotlin v1.0 was published only on 15, February 2016, the history of this programming language defines back to 2011. JetBrains founded Kotlin for their practical needs.
The company had 70% of its outputs built on Java but began to understand its shortcomings – mainly unnecessary wordiness.
They wanted a programming language that would be Java-compatible since rewriting everything into a new programming language appeared as a no-go option. Everybody started experimenting with Scala but were not fulfilled. That is when the concept of a new programming language, Kotlin, was born.
Java vs Kotlin: What Are The Main Differences?
Here is the list of main differences between Java and Kotlin:
- Java support only object-oriented programming. At the same time, Kotlin support both functional and object-oriented programming. It is one of the main aspects to consider in Java vs Kotlin.
- Java supports implicit conversion. In contrast, Kotlin does not provide any implicit conversion.
- Java does not provide any extension function. In contrast, Kotlin enables its users to create extension functions.
- Java supports static members, whereas Kotlin does not support static members.
- Java does not support Lamda expression. On the other hand, Kotlin supports Lambda expression.
- The primitive types of variables are objects in Kotlin. Whereas in Java, the primitive types of variables are not objects.
- Java developers need to write long lines of code. In contrast, the same problem can be solved with fewer lines of code in Kotlin.
- There is a need for a semicolon on every end of the line in Java. At the same time, Kotlin does not necessitate a semicolon, and line breaks are good for showing the line’s end. It is one of the main aspects to consider in comparing the coding ease in Java vs Kotlin.
- Java necessitates variable datatype specification. On the other hand, Kotlin does not demand any variable datatype specification.
- Java does not provide language scripting capabilities. On the other hand, Kotlin’s language scripting capabilities allow Kotlin directly in Gradle build scripts.
Java vs Kotlin: Google Search Trends
Below is the google search trends graph of Java vs Kotlin for the past five years. We can clearly see that Java is more popular than Kotlin.
Java vs Kotlin: Head To Head Comparison
|Extension function||Not supported||Supported|
|Implicit conversions||Supported||Not supported|
|Null variables or objects||Part of Java language||No null variables or objects|
|Programming paradigms||Object-oriented programming||Object-oriented and functional programming|
|Static members||Supported||Not- supported|
|Secondary constructors||Not have secondary constructors.||We can have one or more secondary constructors|
|Smart cast feature||Available||Not available|
|Variable datatype specifications||Required||Not required|
|Lambda Expression||Not supported||Supported|
|Lazy-Loading feature||Not available||Available|
Despite all the benefits of Kotlin, if you’re asking questions, “Which better, Java vs Kotlin? The answer is not easy.
Kotlin has come a long way. The Kotlin code is secure and more concise than Java code.
Kotlin is not only useful for new applications, but its files can come co-existence with Java files – that means there’s scope for existing applications too.
Today, On Java Vs Kotlin, students have many doubts. So, that’s why we explained the difference between Java and Kotlin.
Of course, Java has been around for years, and there is a wealth of Java developers in the IT industry, including application development companies – but not in Kotlin’s case. The market is still struggling to cope with the demand for language and is not able to fully meet the supply portion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Kotlin Replacing Java?
Kotlin is mainly developed to replace Java. It has been in the market for many years, but still, Java is a lot more popular than Kotlin. Kotlin has the power to replace Java, but Kotlin is not replacing Java fully in the current scenario.
Can I learn Kotlin without learning Java?
Yes! You can learn Kotlin without having any prior knowledge of Java programming. However, if you are already familiar with Java, learning Kotlin will be a breeze for you.